For this year’s art trail SEVEN has chosen an estuarine theme.
1.formed or deposited in an estuary: estuarine muds
2. growing in, inhabiting, or found in an estuary: estuarine fauna
Throughout the year, SEVEN met every two weeks where a member of the group would run a workshop of their choice. In the following weeks each artist would incorporate these ideas into their own sketchbook. During the following weeks it was interesting to see how each artist interpreted and developed the original brief into their own style.
We each used an A5 concertina style sketchbook, and as with the estuary, the pages all flow into one another – there is no need to ‘turn the page’.
As part of the art trail, each artist donates a piece of their artwork for the Secret Auction. Visitors to the art trail place bids on the work and if they are the highest bidder they win an original piece or art (or an experience). All monies go back in to supporting the art trail, which is a not-for-profit organisation.
Leigh Art Trail is on from Saturday 9 to Saturday 16 June 2018. SEVEN are exhibiting at Venue 49 at Planet Leasing.
Arriving early Friday morning SEVEN set up our creative space in anticipation of the 4000+ school children who were expected to attend the Next Generation schools’ day at Chalkwell Park. The event is held each year, the day before the Village Green festival organised by Metal Southend and invites local school children to get involved in the arts – from drawing and painting to singing and performing on one of the festival stages.
We were offering drop-in sessions for the children and we invited them to either spend time: free-doodling on a continuous roll of paper; creating mandalas from magazines; or creating gift tag art.
It was a very busy morning with a constant flow of groups of children (and teachers) getting stuck in and enjoying their creative freedom.
‘Bling’ was a very common theme among the youngsters, who sought out any form of shiny jewels…
And by the end of the day our continuous roll of paper had been filled with some inspiring creative doodles…
During one of our workshops a teacher commented on how surprised she was to see one pupil sitting still for 20 minutes, whereas she would normally be very disruptive in the classroom. The slow, meditative process of creating something by hand can give the feeling of being ‘lost in the moment’, which in a time when we are surrounded by information 24/7 can be a welcome break.
It was very clear to see the value of creativity on the day and how much the children enjoyed it. At a time when the number of creative subjects being taught in schools has been systematically cut, the work that Metal does in the local community is essential.
The time has arrived and the Leigh Art Trail 2017 has begun! Now in its 20th year, the Art Trail is on from 10-17 June with over 70 artists exhibiting in over 50 venues around Leigh on Sea.
SEVEN, a creative journal collective, are exhibiting at Planet Leasing, Leigh Road, and day one has been a real success with over 60 visitors.
The display includes one sketchbook from each artist and there is a blank sketchbook for visitors to add their own contribution. SEVEN have been developing the sketchbooks for four months in the run up to the Art Trail and its a real inspiration to see the final result.
SEVEN have been meeting on a bi-weekly basis and each artist has run a workshop which focused on one of their favourite processes including blind drawings, one-minute sketches, assemblage, maps, abstract and threads of thought. Each artist then developed their own work and shared their developments on Instagram.
You can download the workshops from the SEVEN website and if you would like to follow the developments of SEVEN go to instagram/sevenartistsuk.
Read more about the Leigh Art Trail and discover the work of some amazing artists.
The Village Green Festival, organised by Metal Southend, took place this year on Saturday 16th July. I’ve been attending a sketchbook group for a couple of years now, run by local artist Heidi Wigmore. Once again the group were given the fabulous opportunity to exhibit our sketchbooks in the Metal Art School.
With a core group of about 10 regular ‘sketchbookers’ we have built up an impressive collection of sketchbooks. When the books are all displayed together they make an impressive spectacle.
The people in the group took it in turns to invigilate the exhibition during the day. My slot was 12-2pm and by then the park was starting to fill up with festival-goers and the exhibition began to draw people in.
Here is a selection of the sketchbooks I included.
Following on from the Creative Journal course I’ve been attending, at Metal Southend, our group was given the opportunity to display our journals and ‘altered books’ at the Village Green Festival on 11 July 2015 in Chalkwell Park. We jumped at the chance.
Metal, with the help of funding, has recently renovated an old stable block into an art school. Located in the centre of the park, with views of the gardens and the sea beyond is where our exhibition was to be held. We visited the venue a few days earlier to drop off our sketchbooks and to check out the space and we were also allocated 1 1/2 hour slots in which we would be invigilating the exhibition and explaining the project to the visitors.
On the day of the festival, I arrived in time for my 12pm start.
We set out the sketchbooks on tables to encourage visitors to handle them. The work is very tactile and we wanted this to be a fundamental part of the user experience.
The festival only opened at 11am, so the exhibition was quiet to begin with, but people were soon wandering in to have a look.
We had visitors of all ages dropping by…
We all thought the exhibition was a huge success and everyone who took part really enjoyed the experience.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying the sights and sounds of the festival, including this Indian acrobatic act which was breathtaking!